The upturn represents its biggest annual growth in a decade.
Overall passenger numbers, including domestic traffic, saw an increase of nearly 2% year-on-year, to more than 22.8 million travellers for the financial year.
Domestic traffic, while heavily impacted by Cyclone Debbie and capacity consolidation, grew modestly off the back of a number of major events drawing visitors to Brisbane.
An additional 42,500 passengers took the airport’s domestic traffic to more than 17.2 million in FY17, a 0.2% increase on FY16.
CEO and managing director of Brisbane Airport Corporation, Julieanne Alroe, says that with the domestic travel market holding steady, it is encouraging to see strong international passenger growth.
“The real gains this year have been made through the increase in international travel which has been stimulated by a 7.9% boost in overseas flights, two new destinations and the addition of more than 425,700 seats to and from Brisbane in FY17.
“The addition of China Eastern flights between BNE and Shanghai, new Malindo Air Kuala-Lumpur–Denpasar-Brisbane flights, and consistently high loads have contributed to this great result.
“Major events like Wallabies v South Africa and State of Origin matches in BNE, the Gold Coast Marathon and the Battle of Brisbane drew significant crowds to Brisbane from both domestic and international markets.
“The number of domestic destinations on offer also increased from 44 to 50 in FY17, making BNE the most domestically connected airport in Australia.”
Looking forward, BAC expects the strong international passenger growth to continue with carriers such as Emirates, China Airlines and Singapore Airlines upping frequencies on existing routes later this year and Hainan Airlines launching services between BNE and Shenzhen in September.
She notes that Cathay Pacific will also be launching non-stop flights between Hong-Kong and BNE on all 11 weekly services between November 2017 and Match 2018.